Hotel chain hit with asbestos fine

Cheshire-based Britannia Hotels Limited has been fined a total of £160,000 and ordered to pay £40,0000 in costs at Canterbury Crown Court. This followed an investigation that showed it failed in its duty to manage asbestos before construction workers refurbished a wing of The Grand Burstin Hotel in Folkestone, between February and July 2010.

An asbestos surveyor called to the site after work began discovered the widespread presence of asbestos in the eaves of the building. He also found asbestos on the second floor, which was likely to be linked to the removal of walls and ceilings as part of the refurbishment. As a result, a licensed asbestos contractor had to be called in to remove the material and seal off the contaminated area to prevent fibres spreading to other parts of the hotel.

HSE’s Melvyn Stancliffe said: “Although guests did not have direct access to the floors where asbestos was found, it is possible that the fibres may have spread into areas that were still open to them. The simple fact is that because of the company’s failures, both guests and workers’ health has been put at risk, and they now face an uncertain future.”

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